When thinking of a four-door pickup dating from before the current century, one envisions work crews heading to a construction or logging site. Now, these vehicles ferry mom, dad, Caden, and Brayden to Lowes.
The transformation of the pickup from utilitarian hauler to plush, well-appointed family ferry has done wonders for truck sales in North America, with automakers giving thanks for the high-margin boost to their bottom line. However, keeping up with changing preferences isn’t always easy.
General Motors knows that, in order to keep up with its rivals, it needs to build many more crew cab versions of its next-generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.
Speaking to Automotive News, GM product chief Mark Reuss said production of crew cab full-size pickups has been “constrained,” but there’s a plan afoot to change this.
“We’re solving things like that,” Reuss said, without going into further detail. GM claims crew cab models grew from over 50 percent of its full-size pickup sales in 2013 to over 60 percent today. Sales of Chevrolet full-size pickups rose 1.9 percent last year, with its GMC Sierra sibling dropping 1.7 percent in a segment that grew 5.6 percent.
The next-generation Silverado (which debuts Saturday in Detroit) and Sierra call three factories home. Crew cab light-duty models hail from Silao, Mexico, while regular and double cab pickups come from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Flint, Michigan builds heavy duty variants in both cab configurations, as well as light-duty Silverado crew and regular cabs.
Having spent $3 billion retooling the plants, GM needs to satisfy as many customers as possible with the new models. We’ve already had a glimpse of the 2019 Silverado, seen above, while the next-gen Sierra remains shrouded in mystery.
Judging by a report we brought you in 2016, it seems likely the Flint plant will play a role in the boosted crew cab output. According to a UAW shop chairman, GM decided to sendÂ additional Silverado 1500 production to Michigan starting last year, after its Mexican truck plant couldn’t satisfy demand.
[Image: General Motors]